New York, NY, April 12, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep concern that one in six Hungarian voters cast their ballots for an openly anti-Semitic party in the April 11 elections, calling the strong showing of the Jobbik party, "a vote for hate."
Mainstream voters who opposed the current Socialist government had the option of supporting the center-right Fidesz party, which won 53% of the vote. A significant portion of the electorate, however, cast their ballots for an openly anti-Semitic and racist party, Jobbik, which won 16.6 percent of the vote.
"A vote for Jobbik was a vote for hate," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The Jobbik party's appeals to racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism clearly have their antecedents in modern European history, and no one wants to see that history repeated in Hungary."
On April 1, a spokesman for the Fidesz party called Jobbik "a party of violence" and "pretty dangerous to Hungary."
"We urge Fidesz leader Victor Orban to uphold his party's pledge not to form a government with Jobbik," said Mr. Foxman.
The Jobbik party is closely aligned with the Hungarian Guard, whose customary uniforms are evocative of the Hungarian Nazi sympathizer groups of the 1940s, and whose rhetoric is aimed at intimidating Roma, Jews and other minority groups.
Examples of Jobbik's anti-Semitism include:
Their presidential candidate, Krisztina Morvai, has publicly insulted Hungarian Jews, declared "your kind's time is over," and suggested that Jobbik will treat Jews just as Hamas does.
During a TV interview, Jobbik's prime ministerial candidate and party leader, Gabor Vona, was asked whether his party supported an upcoming major neo-Nazi rally in Budapest. He answered: "if you are so interested in Jewish issues I suggest you move to Israel."
One of Jobbik's election posters shows Israeli president Shimon Peres with the Star of David and promises that under Jobbik's leadership Israel will not occupy Hungary.
Last summer Jobbik entered into a cooperation agreement with a Hungarian police trade union that advocated anti-Semitism as "the duty of every Hungarian patriot" and called on its 5,000 members to "prepare for armed battle against the Jews" in its newsletter.
ADL's February 2009 European poll showed that 67 percent of Hungarian respondents agree with the statement that "Jews have too much power in the business world," and 40 percent believe that "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Hungary."
With almost 100,000 Jews, Hungary has the largest Jewish population in Central Europe.